The Radio Dept.
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
The Radio Dept.
The Radio Dept. is a pop group originating from Malmö, Sweden.
In the fall of 2001 Johan Duncanson and Martin Larsson (now Carlberg) decided to pull some people together and start a band. Johan had just recorded a bunch of songs that impressed Martin and having made sporadic home recordings together every once in a while since the winter of 1998/1999 they now wanted to make it more serious and to be able to rehearse and perform live. Out of sheer laziness the group's name was taken from a band that Johan had been a member of that wasn't active anymore.
In the spring of 2002 The Radio Dept. got a great review in the Swedish music magazine Sonic that made the Stockholm based label Labrador get in touch with the band. After a few EPs, two self released ('Against the Tide' and 'Annie Laurie') on the band's own label Slottet and one ('Where Damage Isn't Already Done') by Labrador, the band's debut album 'Lesser Matters' was released in January 2003 to much critical acclaim. It was subsequently re-released in 2004 by XL Recordings/Beggars and started to reach audiences internationally. The three singles XL put out from the album all made the prestigious Single of the Week page in NME and 'Lesser Matters' was later featured on the same magazine's "Album of the decade" list.
The group enjoyed a slightly more widespread recognition after three tracks ("Pulling Our Weight," "I Don't Like It Like This" and "Keen on Boys") were included on the soundtrack for Sofia Coppola's film "Marie Antoinette."
By early 2006, the band's second album 'Pet Grief' was released, and some touring followed. Although it never quite received as much appraise in the music press as its successor, the album gained much popularity throughout the world from an ever-growing fan base online.
The Radio Dept. has always been a very politically charged band and several singles and EPs with sharp political commentary have emerged throughout the years. "Freddie and the Trojan Horse" came out in 2008 and was aimed at the Swedish prime minister at the time, Fredrik Reinfeldt, and his right wing party Moderaterna, for posing as a workers party in order to trick workers into voting for them. Another stab at the right wing government came just days before the Swedish election in 2010 with the single "The New Improved Hypocrisy." The same year the band released its third album, "Clinging to a Scheme" which contained the singles "David," "Heaven's on Fire" and "Never Follow Suit" and was followed by a lot of international touring. To bridge the gap between albums Labrador decided to release a compilation album in 2011. It was named 'Passive Aggressive' and contained all the single A-sides to date and a selection of B-sides and rarities.
During the process of writing and recording their fourth and final album under their deal with Labrador, the band got caught up in a lengthy legal battle against their label and publisher, which in distress ultimately made the band scrap the album they were working on, only to restart later on a blank page with new ideas. After a few one off singles, "Death to Fascism" in 2014 and "This Repeated Sodomy" in 2015, it was announced in July that the band will release their fourth album 'Running Out of Love' on October 21st 2016.
Dark Blue follow up their debut LP, ‘Pure Reality’, with ‘Start Of The World’ (12XU) – a soundtrack of a decaying United States. Each song drips with the realities of atrocities happening all around us ; John Sharkey III (Vocals, Guitar) pushes Dark Blue far beyond the post-punk meets oi sound they perfected on their earlier releases, and adds elements of brit-pop and shoegaze. Recorded by Jeff Zeigler (Kurt Vile, Nothing), ‘Start Of The World’ is a pop album that makes no apologies.
Boot stomping opener “Union of Buffoons,” sets the political tone for this album with an anthem for workers’ rights. Sharkey’s biting lyrics: “You can’t fight this, you can’t win…screw you once, they’ll screw you twice,” is a reference to human expendability in the face of deregulation and the stagnancy of labor rights. “Never Wanted to Hurt You” is a pop song in the highest order with guts and an undeniable chorus that would make Noel Gallagher jealous even at his most jaded.
The 50′s doo-woop and surf rock sound of “Bombs on the Beach” initially feels like a left turn for the band, evoking a playful innocence against a sunny backdrop. But the lyrics prove this is truly a Dark Blue song, tearing through any cheerfulness as jarring and abrupt as words can be to describe the reality of dropping missiles on a beach of unsuspecting Palestinian children. Sharkey’s voice is heavy with the despair of survivor’s guilt: “Now I’m holding my baby’s hand, as he lies bleeding to death in the sand.” This is another pointed song full of sentiment as much as it is an impassioned call for accountability for the crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip.
While this album shows off new and varying degrees of Sharkey’s vocal intensity, Andrew Mackie Nelson (Bass, Ceremony) and Michael Sneeringer (Drums, Strand of Oaks) shine, guiding the songs in ways other releases haven’t shown before . Tracks such as “Be Gone Everyone” and “Western Front” underscore just how comfortable the band has gotten.
‘Start Of The World’ is the kind of record that Dark Blue has always promised: a collection of smart, fully realized songs that tell real stories. With the world falling apart around us, Dark Blue continues to give voice to neglected perspectives, many unnerving but all necessary to hear. We need a defiant record like this to remind us that just as there was start to all of this destruction, there can also be an end.
$15.00 - $18.00
Due to the Philadelphia Eagles' appearance in the Super Bowl, Union Transfer will now be closed for The Radio Dept.'s show on Sunday Feb 4th. We attempted to move and reschedule the show, but unfortunately a new date is not possible. Full refunds will be made at point of purchase. We apologize to you and to The Radio Dept.